As an innovative CDL driver recruiter, you’ve probably heard the mantra “every experience should be better from the driver’s perspective” so many times it’s become a sort of repetitive chant in the back of your mind. If you’re still doubting this industry adage, it’s time to convert – the driver’s applicant experience really is everything. If a driver feels overwhelmed, unengaged, or just uninterested in an application, he or she will simply abandon it and look for another job opportunity with someone else. In order to remain competitive and profitable in this national CDL driver shortage, building an application experience from the driver’s perspective is more important than ever.
Here are 5 fail-proof ways to ensure you’re recruiting from a driver’s perspective:
#1 - Trim down your application
If you were on the road all day, driving countless miles, would you want to waste even a second of your precious free time answering meaningless questions? Of course not, and neither do CDL driver applicants. Instead of building out lengthy driver applications with multiple open-ended questions, stick to the must-know basics. Get the important answers down and into your system fast, and worry about more thorough details later.
Keep in mind that as a driver moves through the application process, you can collect more information and details. Also, with this trimmed down approach, if an application is abandoned halfway through, you’ll at least have the basics (contact information, past employment, etc.) to help your team decide whether or not you should pursue this lead.
#2 - Optimize for mobile
As shocking as it may seem, drivers are actually just like the rest of us – they’re constantly on their smartphones (when they’re not driving, of course). While this might sound anecdotal, it’s completely relevant to the application process. Drivers don’t want to deal with applications that require a desktop setup, or a printer, or even a PDF download. The desktop vs. mobile debate presents a clear picture of how recruiters can place the wants of drivers over their own needs. While desktop applications might offer more flexibility on the recruiters’ side, they aren’t conducive to how drivers spend their time. Recruiters must be able to make the right choice – in favor of the driver – to maximize completed DOT applications.
#3 - Move beyond the phone call
While it may be unfortunate for some traditional CDL driver recruiters, advanced technology has ushered in a new era of driver recruiting. One of the most relevant places this change is felt is in the driver follow up and interview process. There are so many new ways to engage with drivers besides a traditional phone call or email, and innovative recruiters must be able to leverage all of these channels to drive maximum driver engagement. Take text messages, for example. We’ve already discussed how dedicated drivers are to their smartphones, and creative recruiters can take advantage of this. Leveraging text messages alongside other innovative engagement solutions (such as video calls) can help capture drivers attention quickly so they don’t go dark during the application process.
#4 - Be transparent about company details
One of the biggest roadblocks in the new driver application process is the high percentage of turnover in truck driving employment. This is an industry-wide issue, and it’s also one of the reasons there is such a shortage of qualified drivers in the market. It doesn’t matter how hard you try – drivers will find out everything they need to know about your turnover history, compensation rates, and company history. One of the worst things a recruiter can do to a prospective driver is try to hide this information or lie to them about specifics just to get them in the door. We’re living in the internet era where anything a driver needs to know is online. Be transparent, visualize the application process from the driver’s perspective, and don’t hide any relevant details. Drivers will appreciate how open and honest you are throughout the entire process.
#5 - Don’t be repetitive
As anyone who has ever applied for a job knows, the application and interview process can get extremely repetitive. Filling out multiple forms, talking to multiple people, and answering the same questions over and over can be draining. With so much competition in the market, drivers can simply leave this tedious cycle whenever they want. To truly set your organization apart from others, take the applicant’s perspective to heart: make it easy and simple. The best way to ensure nothing gets too repetitive is to house all applicant information, answers, and engagement in a full-service Applicant Tracking Solution (ATS) that everyone on your team has access to. That way, recruiters can simply check an applicant profile to find the answer to a question, or see who they’ve spoken to, or check on their employment verification – without asking any repetitive questions.
Understanding and developing a driver-focused recruiting strategy will allow your team to increase your overall number of qualified applicants as well as show these drivers that you truly see them as valuable partners with lives and needs outside of their driving jobs.
Want to learn more? Download our newest eBook, Recruiting from a Driver’s Perspective: How to Make an Impact.